If you are a member of the National Guard or Reserves, you may be worried about transitioning back into a civilian workplace. Will you return to the same position with the same responsibilities? Will your colleagues understand what you’ve been through and welcome you back?
Your experiences in the service—both positive and negative—may have made you a different person than you were before you entered, and changed the way you look at things and deal with people. If you were in combat or experienced stressful or traumatic situations during your time in the military, you may have developed habits that helped you cope in those situations, but could be misunderstood or problematic in civilian life.
As you adjust to your transition from the military, you may: * Feel uncomfortable with the lack of structure and goals compared to military life * Miss the adrenaline of physical and life-challenging situations * Worry about your finances * Push yourself to be perfect in work and other areas of your life * Become annoyed with others who seem more easy-going or less detail-oriented than you * Feel isolated and alone, as if no one understands you
There are steps you can take to help you cope with the challenges you may face during your military to civilian transition. A healthy lifestyle can go a long way to helping you stay physically and emotionally fit and improve your overall well-being.
What should I keep an eye out for after transitioning from service?BACK TO TOP
Most Veterans go through some period of adjustment while transitioning to civilian life, but ultimately find their new roles fulfilling. However, some people deal with the transition in ways that make it difficult to enjoy life or to be successful in the civilian world. Some Veterans experience the following: * Frequently feeling on edge or tense * Difficulty concentrating * Anger or irritability * Trouble sleeping * Feeling down for weeks or months
Some of the challenges that come with transitioning from the military can be difficult, stressful, or put a strain on your relationships. You might find it hard to enjoy the things you usually like doing. You may be having a tough time dealing with the death of friends that you served with. Chronic pain or other medical conditions may pose additional challenges.
What can I do about issues related to transitioning from service?BACK TO TOP
Going from something familiar, like military life, to something new and different can be challenging, but there are things you can do to help you be successful. Remember to: * Reach out to other Veterans or Veterans’ groups for social support * Exercise regularly and eat healthy meals * Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing * Recognize that others may not always agree with you or understand your military service; agree to disagree * Be prepared for insensitive questions or topics of conversation; practice how to respond ahead of time * Respectfully decline to talk about things that make you uncomfortable * Have a plan of action for your adjustment that includes a list of goals for your transition, your future, and your personal life * Try to get a good night’s sleep * Avoid unhealthy “quick fixes” that you think may help you cope, like